What type of mulch for large gardens?

kntryhuman(Louisiana Z-8)July 10, 2014

I need enough mulch to cover areas approx. 15x50', 4x50', 3x300'. Cypress mulch is in excess of $1000 so that is out of the question.

I live in the country so there isn't much in the way of leaves, etc. because people here don't rake or have grass clippings.

What have others used in this situation?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lazy_gardens

Straw (not hay). You should be able to get rice straw, or wheat or oat straw.

Wood chips: Call the power company and ask if they have wood chips from easement clearing. Or call a tree removal company. If they can dump a load on your place instead of making a run to the dump, they'll be happy.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 12:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
glib(5.5)

It has to be wood chips. Controlling weeds over such large areas is a nightmare otherwise. Note that here it used to be free, but now most companies charge for delivery. I still get them for free (30 tons two years ago for the orchard) but it takes work.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 1:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kntryhuman(Louisiana Z-8)

These gardens are next to my house. I've been told that Pine/wood chips would attract termites. Is that true?

If not, I have mountains of Pine/horse manure that I can use.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 1:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
glib(5.5)

Possible. I have no termites in Michigan, and alI mulches will attract critters, so I can not help you with that. But for mulching large areas, in a way that you don't have to worry about it for 2 or 3 years, wood chips can not be beat.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 5:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Termites like cardboard more than wood chips. Whether they like the chips depends on the species of tree. I don't worry about it.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 7:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Any material used as mulch can attract all kinds of insects because that material will create a nice habitat for them. However, many of us that have used various materials for mulches have found the concerns are vastly overblown.
I have not, in over 45 years of mulching, found termites where
I have laid down wood chips, cardboard, newspaper, or other cellulose products. I have found Centipedes, Millipedes, Pill Bugs, Sow Bugs, Spiders, etc. in those mulches as well as earthworms and if I had a good microscope I would have seen many species of bacteria and fungi at work there too.
What to use for mulch depends on what is readily available in your area, for free if possible. Deciduous tree leaves, straw, spoiled hay, wood chips, grass clippings are all possibilities.
Perhaps the link below can help dispel the myths surrounding wood chips as mulches.

Here is a link that might be useful: About wood chip mulches

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 6:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
luckyladyslipper(MA 5b-6a)

kimmsr: great article in your link. Thanks. I have used arborist's wood chips for decades, with only positive results. I have to admit, when people warn me about termites or nitrogen leaching, I occasionally wonder if I'm doing the wrong thing after all. Since I just got a huge load from the tree service that took down some dead trees yesterday, and I have extensive gardens to mulch, I'm very happy for the reassurance in this thread and in that article.

Too bad the fellow and his machine aren't here to help with the spreading!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 10:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Kimmsr, I have to say that I have found termites in a pile of cardboard that was being stored for compost. They ignored the wood pile and went crazy for the cardboard.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

nil, I said I have not found termites in cardboard used in the garden. You will find all kinds of critters in cardboard kept in dry conditions, anything ranging from termites to cockroaches have been reported in those conditions. You cannot compare grapefruits and mushrooms.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

The cardboard was in the garden, and the termites were in the bottom layer in contact with the soil. So exactly the same conditions as if the cardboard were being used for sheet mulching.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lloyd

I'm playing with paper and straw this year to develop a garden area for next year. I get several hundreds of those paper leaf bags and many small cardboard boxes. By layering these down and then covering with straw I hope to have a decent planting area next year when I retire.

Lloyd

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 10:22PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Compost is wet and soggy. Can I use it? It's not done yet..
Hi there. My first compost is almost a year old now....
Mikkel Nielsen
Does anyone not like newspaper for weed blocking?
I give advice as a master gardener for my county extension...
kimpa
New raised bed garden
I'm putting a raised bed garden in the front of the...
dbbob
Lots of grass, not much "brown"?
So I live in the tropics of Australia, 4-5m of rainfall...
archades
Questions about gritty mix
Hi folks, I am a long time gardener but new to the...
hsw (zone 6, Boston area)
Sponsored Products
Sterling EZ Compost Wizard Jr.
Overstock.com
Sliced Open Concrete Planters - Set of 3
$79.99 | Dot & Bo
Cityscape Black Square 9-Inch Wall Sconce with Frosted Glass
$85.31 | Bellacor
Rapunzel Birdhouse
$39.99 | zulily
Rustic Natural Cedar Furniture Side Table - 409A
$99.99 | Hayneedle
Prairie Garden Chestnut Bronze Four-Light Island Pendant
$568.00 | Bellacor
Safavieh Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Safavieh Rugs Veranda Chocolate/Blue 5 ft. 3
Home Depot
Safavieh Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug: Safavieh Rugs Courtyard Natural/Terra 6.6 ft.
Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™